Mt. Olive proclamation of friendship

During the recent Spirit of Mother Jones Festival Mr James Goltz from Bunker Hill, Illinois presented the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Mary Shields with a proclamation from the community of Mount Olive, Illinois seeking “to extend a symbolic hand of friendship to our brothers and sisters in the birthplace of one so great in stature as the legendary Mother Jones”

The proclamation of friendship, supported by the Mount Olive Council and signed by Mr John M. Skertich, Mayor of Mt. Olive calls on both Mt. Olive and Cork together to ” celebrate her spirit while crediting her role in the history of both countries and in the globe. This common duty of stewardship stands as an unbreakable bond between our two cities.”

The Mt. Olive proclamation of friendship signed by Mayor John M. Skertich

The Mt. Olive proclamation of friendship signed by Mayor John M. Skertich

Mother Jones passed away at the Burgess home in Hyattsville, Maryland on 30th November 1930. Her funeral was held on December 8th at the Church of the Ascension, the Mount Olive Catholic Church. From there, her remains were taken and buried in the Union Miners Cemetery at Mount Olive near the graves of the victims of the 1898 Virden Massacre.

Mayor Skertich concludes the proclamation by inviting an agreement between Cork and Mount Olive to “promise to safeguard and promote both her resting place and birthplace, as we celebrate her life by jointly continuing to tell the life story of this great Irish woman to a wider audience.”

James Goltz with Lord Mayor Mary Shields

James Goltz with Cork’s Lord Mayor Councillor Mary Shields at Cork City Hall.

The Cork Mother Jones Committee is delighted to support the initiative taken by the city of Mount Olive. The Shandon Area Renewal Association has already agreed to promote, encourage and foster the links between the community of the birthplace of Mary Harris/Mother Jones and the community where she now lies at rest. A motion supporting the adoption of the Mount Olive proclamation will be presented to Cork City Council and it is the fervent wish of all involved that it be supported and formal fraternal links be established between the custodians of her native birthplace and her chosen resting place.

Some more pics from this year’s festival

Cork singers Club at Mother Jones Festival 2014 (1)

The Cork Singers Club at the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival in Maldron Hotel 29th July 2014.

(Left to Right): Teresa Mac Carthaigh, Sean Mac Carthaigh, Tom Long, Monica Dineen, Bill Daly, Pat O Grady, Helen O Donovan, Cliff Wegbury,  Bridie Murphy, John Murphy. Helen O’Donovan was Bean a Tí for the spectacular evening  of songs and stories. Many of the festival guests such as Anne Feeney, Betty Cook and Anne Scargill also joined in.

Teresa McCarthaigh is the author of “The Ballad of Mother Jones” which she sang once again to huge acclaim.

US folk / union singer Anne Feeneywho performed at the Grand Concert at the Firkin Crane along with Si Kahn.  Here she is singing at an "open mike" session at the Maldron Hotel.

US folk / union singer Anne Feeneywho performed at the Grand Concert at the Firkin Crane along with Si Kahn. Here she is singing at an “open mike” session at the Maldron Hotel. Photo: Jimmy Thomson.

Anne Scargill and Betty Cook of Women Against Pit Closures who sang a wonderful song called simply "The Women's Song" about the struggle of women during the 1984 British Miner's Strike.   Photo: William Hammond.

Anne Scargill and Betty Cook of Women Against Pit Closures who sang a wonderful song called simply “The Women’s Song” about the struggle of women during the 1984 British Miner’s Strike. Photo: William Hammond.

Cork Mother Jones Lecture 2014

by Professor James Green

Prof. James Green at Shandon during the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2014.  Photo: Jimmy Thomson.

Prof. James Green at Shandon during the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2014. Photo: Jimmy Thomson.

Prof. James Green of the University of Massachusetts, Boston and author of  Death in the Haymarket and the West Virginia Mine Wars delivered the Cork Mother Jones Lecture 2014 at the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival in Cork on the opening day of the festival, Tuesday 29th July.

You can view or download the full text of Prof. Green’s excellent lecture by clicking on the link below.

 

Mother Jones 2014 Lecture by James Green

 

WAPC group who spoke at festival visit SIPTU

Shortly after they appeared at this year’s Spirit of Mother Jones Festival in Cork, representatives of Yorkshire mining communities including Anne Scargill and Betty Cook of Women Against Pit Closures paid a courtesy visit to Liberty Hall, Dublin, national headquarters of the country’s largest trade union, SIPTU.  There they were received by SIPTU’s General President Jack O’Connor.   SIPTU were also generous part sponsors of the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival.

Betty and Anne with Jack O'Connor

Anne Scargill (right) and Betty Cook of Women Against Pit Closures being presented with a copy of Padraig Yeates’ book on the 1913 Dublin Lockout by SIPTU President Jack O’Connor. Photo: Jimmy Thomson.

 

 

Illinois Senator praises Cork festival

The Cork Mother Jones Festival Committee has received a warm message of support and encouragement from Illinois Senator Andy Manar.

Senator Andy Manar

Sen. Andy Manar

Senator Manar in a thoughful and positive  message to the Cork Mother Jones Committee for the Spirit of Mother Jones festival states that “you have all my deepest respect for the work you have done on behalf of Mother Jones and I share in your admiration of this great woman from County Cork, Ireland”

“I believe your festival is wonderful as it attracts people from all over the world and stands tallest among other known Mother Jones Festivals. I’d welcome a similar event in my district. Your festival sets a very high bar for other to reach and you should be extremely proud of that”
Letter received from US Senator Andy Manar (D), Illinois

Letter received from US Senator Andy Manar (D), Illinois

The Cork Mother Jones Committee acknowledges and supports the huge effort being made by the Unions, the Illinois Labour History Society and the Mother Jones Foundation to preserve and restore the monument over the grave of Mother Jones in Mount Olive cemetery. The restoration project will ensure that this monument over her final resting place will remain for ever as a fitting symbol of positive action for social justice which the spirit of Mother Jones inspires in thousands of people across the world.

Greetings from the Mayor of Boston

The Cork Mother Jones Committee received an enormous number of messages of support for the recent Spirit of Mother Jones Festival from around the world. Among those received was the following message of support from Martin J Walsh, Mayor of Boston. We are delighted to have received this message of support for the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival and wish to thank  Mayor Walsh for his kind message.    

Letter from the Mayor of Boston

Letter from the Mayor of Boston

Dear Delegates to the Mother Jones Festival,

On behalf of the people of Boston, I extend my warmest greetings to all of you as you stand together for the dignity of working families in Ireland, America, and around the world.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh of Boston.  Pic: David Parsons, Creative Commons via Wikipedia

Mayor Martin J. Walsh of Boston. Pic: David Parsons, Creative Commons via Wikipedia

Ireland holds a special place in my heart. Like the young Mary Harris, my parents were emigrants.  I was shaped by the voices and values of Irish working people.  And I share that Irish foundation with many of my fellow Bostonians.  President John F. Kennedy spoke of an “emerald thread” running through the history of the Irish: a resilience in the face of struggle that survives in their descendants around the world. This pattern is woven deeply into the rich and diverse tapestry of Boston’s people.

And the struggles of all working families are never far from my mind. I grew up in a union household;  I’ve belonged to the Laborers union since I was 18 years old; and I’ve spent my career in public service advocating advocating for workers’ rights.  I know that the simple notion of a fair day’s pay for an honest day’s work is far from a simple thing to achieve.  Securing justice takes a hard, complex, and constant struggle.  It takes collective action that can only be accomplished by the kind of community building you are doing this weekend in Cork.

I know, as you do, that this struggle takes place the world over. Like Mother Jones, we must “abide wherever there is a fight against wrong”.  So I thank you for honoring her powerful legacy. And I thank you for shining a modern light on the timeless struggles of working people to defend their dignity and secure their rights.

Sincerely,

Martin J. Walsh

Mayor of Boston

 

 

Thank You message from the Cork Mother Jones Commmittee

Thank You!

The Cork Mother Jones Committee wishes to thank the many hundreds of people who worked on a voluntary basis in Shandon during the recent 2014 Spirit of Mother Jones Festival to ensure another remarkable success story for this relatively new event. It has been a stimulating week!

It has been another wonderful event, drawing participants from far and wide, local visitors, trade unionists, historians and tourists from many countries to join in the activities of the summer school and festival which celebrated the life, the courage and the spirit of Mary Harris/Mother Jones.
We wish to thank our speakers, film makers, musicians, actors, media representatives and the huge community effort that went into what eventually became a week long event. We acknowledge the support and cooperation of all the people who work at our two venues, the Firkin Crane and the Maldron Hotel.
The responses from many of the several thousand people who attended at some stage during the week has been extremely positive and supportive for both the festival itself and acknowledge the huge and impressive input of the local community in Shandon.
The festival itself is tribute to the hard work and dedication of the members of the Cork Mother Jones Committee,the amazing local community spirit and huge growing international support which exists for the event. To our friends and supporters and those who honour the Spirit of Mother Jones across the world and are in turn inspired by her, we say thank you!